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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

this. Parliament should have been permitted to express its views free from
the suggestion of coercion which is inherent in a three-line Whip and a
Vote of Confidence. As it is, to-day we are, in fact, expressing our views
under threat.
Outside this House people are confused by the flood of propaganda with
which they are continuously assailed. They are asking, " Where is all this
leading to ? To what are we being committed ? How will it affect our
children ? " But is it any wonder they are perplexed ? They saw this war
begin as a fight between dictatorship and democracy or, I should say,
the democratic ideals of free men. They have seen it develop, in one aspect
at Ieast5 into a clash between two rival forms of dictatorship, Communism
and Nazism, in neither of which way of thought is there any room for
democratic freedom as we know it. They find democracy in alliance with
Communism in order to accomplish the overthrow of Nazism., and they
fear and suspect—not without cause—the sacrifice of those democratic
principles upon which alone man's freedom can be rooted and secured.
I have studied the Report of the Crimea Conference with care, and it is
not so much what is in the White Paper which justifies apprehension,
as what remains undisclosed, even after the speech of my right hon. Friend
the Prime Minister. . . .
. . . Those great men who signed the Report (of the Crimea Conference)
declare their intention of enabling the liberated peoples of Europe
" to create democratic institutions of their own choice,"
and
" to build in co-operation with other peace-loving nations a world order
under law, dedicated to peace, security, freedom and the general well-
being of all mankind."
But one is bound to ask, Is that the case regarding Poland ? For make no
mistake about it, our treatment of Poland is the touchstone by which our
post-war relationships will be measured. It is a tragic fact that the only
place where the voice of free Poland and the Baltic Republics can be heard
to-day is in this House of Commons. Why is it that in the Yalta Report
there is not one single word regarding the Baltic Republics ? Are they not
to be given the unfettered right to choose their own Government ? . . .
... I cannot see, either in the contents of the White Paper, or in what
the Prime Minister has said, anything which shakes my belief that no solution
of the Polish problem has yet been reached to which my assent could
honourably be given. Incidentally, it is significant that nowhere in those
portions of the White Paper dealing with liberated Europe and Poland
do the words " justice " or " honour " occur.
... It is quite obvious that in order to safeguard her lines of communica-
tion while occupying Germany, Russia must continue to occupy part of
Poland. No one will deny that. But the information from Poland to-day
makes it clear that under the Lublin Government the internal economy
of Poland is now being irrevocably organised on Communist lines. In
addition, officers and men of the Polish Army and underground forces are
being confined in concentration camps. „ . . The Foreign Secretary will
not, I think, deny that in September, 1944, he was officially acquainted with
the fact that since the occupation of part of Poland by Russia, from one
district alone near Lublin, 21,000 officers and men of the Home Army
had been placed under arrest. It is clear that there must be safeguards
much more definite than anything which appears in the White Paper,
if Poland is to be able to hold really free and unfettered elections in order to
choose her own Government. Apart from the fact that the legal Government
of Poland is here in London, how can a Polish Provisional Government,
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